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Daoist Principles in Practice
太極 - 道家理论实践
陰 yīn | 陽 yáng | 雍 yōng
Develop Inner Power and Harmony
through Concentration, Co-ordination and Relaxation of Mind, Energy and Body.
True Taiji Practice
- is not limited. It is open to all spheres of life while remaining centred on the refinement of inner spiritual essence. Taiji (Tai Chi), the Supreme Ultimate, is in practice what the 'Dao de Jing' (Tao Te Ching) expresses in principle. These principles remain universal throughout the known worlds, undiminished by their common reduction to intellectual ideas, emotional values, or religious rules, by the various races of the Earth. The universal principles and the method for bringing ourselves into harmony with them could be called the worldwideway, but are really beyond any name. True Taiji is an evolving connection to that worldwideway.
The great purpose of Taiji
- is the great purpose of life itself - Spiritual Evolution. Named 'Emptiness, Immortality or Enlightenment' by the Daoists and Buddhists, 'Self Realisation' by the Yogis, 'To Awaken and Merge with the Source' by the Middle Eastern Gnostics and Western Mystics. All people come on to the Earth with this purpose, but most quickly forget why they are here. Once enmeshed in the outer physical world their whole life serves merely the survival of the body (which includes the brain). The great physical and social edifices of human society, intended as forms within which humanity may evolve, become prisons. Many dream of a way out but few find the practical path to freedom.
Individual conscious perfection
- exists in potential as a spark within every human being. There is a pressure from within and without to develop this possibility. The forces maintaining the universe are complex and the reasons for many things in life unclear. Why do some struggle to realise their inner potential while others dissipate it through a life of ignorance, weakness and neglect? For those who sadly allow this spark to fade there is little individual hope, though their life and death still contribute to the general evolution of humankind. For those who actively choose inner growth there appears the question of the 'Path' or 'Way'.
Myriad methods exist
- but only one Way. That is the internal path which steadily unfolds as a person delves deeper into their own inner world. That world is deceptive, sometimes dangerous, as the Mind perceives the inner world through its own self-created web of illusion - even delusion. Without true directions and a guide, people will almost certainly go astray. Only a fool would feel capable of guiding others on this individual internal path. It is obligation to those beyond me, not choice, which is behind what is offered here.
- has an external level, 3 major internal levels within the Deep Mind and higher levels Beyond the Mind. Though outwardly based on physical exercises for health and self-defense, all deeply refined teachers aim to lead their students through the body to the realm of Deep Mind, then gradually, step by step, working their way through the 3 levels Jing, Qi and Shen before reaching the Beyond and the final realisation of freedom from the 3 worlds of human existence.
- is concerned with body positioning, balance, weight, speed, contracting and relaxing the muscles, calming the disturbed emotions and quieting the thinking mind...read more
- is based within the Deep Mind Energy Sphere. The 3 internal levels - internal body level, energy level and mind level - can be named: Earth, Man and Heaven; Etheric, Astral and Celestial; or Jing, Qi and Shen. Each of the 3 major levels has 3 minor levels giving 9 sublevels (9 clouds within the Deep Mind). The internal levels are trained within the 5 loosening Exercises, the Taiji Form, Taiji Tuishou and meditation.
Taiji Moving Art (Gongfu)
- Taiji as a moving art is the training of intention, awareness and intelligence, within the energies of the lower-dantien (body and etheric level).
Moving Art (Gongfu)
Taiji Energy Art (Qigong)
- Taiji as an energy art is the training of intention, awareness and intelligence, within the energies of the middle-dantian (astral or deep-emotional level).
Energy training is central to all health, martial art and higher aspects of Taiji. Though energy training is based on the middle dantian, it inevitably includes a component from the lower dantian and a component from the upper dantian. Taiji for health and martial arts draws mostly on that lower dantian etheric component combined with the lower levels of the astral. If unbalanced by spiritual aspiration, then the strengthening lower dantian will increase the attachment to and identification with the body, leading a person in the opposite direction from their true purpose on the Earth.
Energy Art (Qigong)
Taiji Spiritual Art (Neigong)
- Taiji as a spiritual art (Neigong) is the training of intention, awareness and intelligence, within the energies of the upper-dantian (celestial or heaven level) - and beyond. To train fully on this level is seldom achieved, yet even a beginner inevitably includes in their training a small percentage of this level of the Deep Mind. Beginners, as Master Huang often said, use maybe 90% the superficial-mind and 10% the Deep Mind. Of this 10% perhaps 7% is from the etheric lower dantian, 2% from the astral middle dantian and less than 1% from the celestial upper dantian.
Spiritual Art (Neigong)
- True Taiji training begins with the physical, then centres itself within the 3 levels of the Deep Mind, while aspiring towards the Beyond and the final realisation of freedom from those 3 worlds of human existence. Ideally this aspiration towards the Beyond (which admits the first ray of light from the Divine Self) exists from the first moments of training, but if not then true training will gradually align the inner motives and intentions, hidden within the Deep Mind of all people, towards the Beyond, inducing this aspiration to appear. Without that aspiration the results of the training will be subverted by the ego - which has a presence on each of the 3 internal levels. True Taiji training methods change and evolve as each person reaches out for, connects with, merges into, then finally fully and naturally expresses the Beyond back into the 3 worlds of human existence. At this advanced stage, all methods disappear and life itself becomes the highest training ground.
The Beyond (Dao)
True Taiji Transmission
- The further back in time we look, the more obscure the history of Taiji becomes. Yet from the study of this past, two things become clear. Firstly, that the inner essence of Taiji flows down from genuine teachers to sincere pupils in unbroken chains. Secondly, that each teacher must devise his or her own training system to express and pass on this impersonal inner teaching. The teaching must evolve outwardly or die inwardly...more
You may meet 3 types of Taiji
There is genuine traditional Taiji where students progress through a long serious training, which produces true inner evolution, a deep well being and some ability at self-defense based on internal refinement rather than external strength and speed. The sublime experience of the past great practitioners is passed down, which requires effort from both students and teachers. The teachers have themselves been through such long training previously, with their own genuine teachers.
Secondly there is "healing" Taiji where people practice lightly to feel outwardly better and recover from the pressure of work and daily life. Like modern 'Yoga", there is some external value in this but it does not lead to internal refinement.
Thirdly you may also see "gymnastic" Taiji where all esoteric training is scorned and either beautiful "wushu" postures, or rough fighting movements are trained, perhaps with silk uniforms, sometimes for competition. This Taiji was officially promoted over the last 60-70 years but perhaps has lost the refined subtlety of the original art.
These last 2 methods are typically taught merely as a means of making a living. The lightly trained instructors, easily create new movements and systems which propogate their own simple ideas. These methods may increase attachment to and identification with the body (consolidating the ego). This is a long way from the great purpose of the deep and subtle art of true Taiji.
I suggest you think twice before investing your time in these last 2 - ask yourself what is really important in your life, then stay true to that and make your choice.
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